Beloved Beta Readers

Hello, everyone.

As you all know, or will now be finding out, I’m a paranormal romance writer that stumbled into poetry accidentally with Utterly Loved.

I’m back in the saddle (my office chair), my fingers flying on the keyboard with a new paranormal romance story.  My new work-in-progress (WIP in writer lingo) is a holiday novella woven into the story lines of the series.  After that, it will be on to writing the second in the series.  I can’t wait to write the amazing stories unfolding in my head.

You’re probably all wondering:  What happened to the first story?

It’s currently a polished manuscript.  I’ve scheduled a freelance editor to edit the piece in the beginning of February.  If all goes well, the book will be published early to mid-summer.

In the meantime?  It’s with four beta readers.

Who are these beta readers?

They are dear trusted friends who love to read.

Collectively, they…
Held my hair in college when I hurled at the bar
Were the first to tell me, “That’s the story you need to write”
Consoled me when I was frustrated
Wiped away the tears
Cheered the successes
Sometimes know me better than I know myself

These are my people.  The ones I rely on.  My closest confidants.

I only decided last week to take each of them up on their offer to read my story.  This  project has been a part of my life for two years.  They are the ones who’ve shared my ups and downs along the way.  

I finally got the courage to let go and give my heart and soul to them.

Why now?

I had an enlightening hour-long conversation with a best-selling author who shared with me the value of her beta readers and why they’re so important to her.  She said they’re the only ones who truly know her.  Her most important goal was for them to be honest with her and, where warranted, tell her, “This sucks.”

We both laughed.  But the impact of what she said sank in.  She further explained how they will see things we can’t.  We writers are too close to our work to see certain things we need to know.  If we want to publish a page-turning story, one the reader can’t put down and thinks about long after they have, we have to know if there are slow sections, missing parts, or extraneous, excellently written fluff.

I decided she was right.  My friends wanted to be a part of the process.  Each of them had voiced that sentiment to me.  I also realized no one else would do.

They will all laugh when they read this blog post.  I impressed upon each of them to please relax, read, and enjoy the story.  But they had better tell me if they hit a slow part.  I demanded they tell me if any part of it sucked.  I have every confidence they will.  If it’s ever really bad, I hope they please break it to me gently over a drink. {laughs}

The really amazing thing for me?  They’re all from different backgrounds.  I’ve got swamp and city.  All are highly educated and intelligent, but some are analytical and some are creative.  Only one of them reads books in my paranormal romance genre.  One tells me they will give me their opinion when they are finished reading.  (I’m dying of suspense.)  Another is telling me chapter-by-chapter her thoughts.

So far? My chapter-by-chapter (non-paranormal-romance) girl is giving me such incredibly exciting feedback, I’m having to repeatedly ask her, “Are there any slow parts? Anything missing or extra?”  She’s replied with a resounding “NO!”

Her texts have said…
“I am speechless…”
“Never saw that coming!”
“You have this supernatural ability to take the reader to the edge of a heightened emotion and then drop them immediately into another.”
“I’m having to force myself to stop reading.  The flow…epic! Just when one scene is finishing up, another one, just as vital, comes into play.”
“It’s the perfect flow of detail and plot movement.”

She’s even dubbed the hero, a Highlander, “Scotty McHotty” … I just… {dies laughing}

I’m very interested to hear my other beta reader opinions.  I value them all. 

Thank you, my beloved beta readers.  I’m so very grateful for your friendship and support.  Don’t go easy on me.  Find me something that sucks…please!

It’s important to mention, that I have a fifth beta reader, my husband.  He read my manuscript months ago.  As my best friend, he told me where it sucked.  He also pulled me up out of my office chair the moment he finished, grabbed me by the shoulders, and stared at me hard as he said, “Anyone who ever tells you that you don’t have what it takes has no idea what they’re talking about.” 

Damn, I love that man, for both telling me where it sucked and convincing me I have talent.  That is why I love my friends.  They excel by having my back in every way needed… The love and the tough love.

My goal is to give you, the reader, the very best story possible.  I hope to transport you into an amazing story filled with medieval Highlanders, ancient Picts, magick, and a few other surprises I’m not yet ready to spoil for you.

Stay tuned for more updates on the upcoming release and my adventures in writing, editing, and publishing along the way.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

delicately delectable

talktotheshoe:

Deidre, this is so brilliant. You color our world beautiful. :)

Kat Bastion

Originally posted on The Red Velvet Chair:

I hear your keys unlock the door
just home from work
your briefcase lands
thud
on the floor
and I,
I am waiting for you.
You find me sitting at the counter
my back to you
wearing only your white dress shirt
not looking up,
stilled, imbued
with a sense of desire.
Walking slowly through the room
behind me you stand
brushing my hair to one side
to lean in and whisper,
in me you confide.
Featherlight kisses behind my ear
your arms surround
entrapping me,
making promises
I know you’ll keep.
A hunger is there
felt in your touch
heard on your breath
and I,
I turn to see
to look in your eyes.
Mesmerized.
I hold in my hand a ruby red fruit,
a ripe raspberry
delicately
brought to my mouth
to burst inside.
And you,
you reach around
there’s warm chocolate there
dark, delectable
to dip your…

View original 57 more words

A Love Affair With Words…

A Love Affair With Words …

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Do you have a love affair with words?

Have you vibrated when you’ve found the perfect morsel, a rush of satisfaction firing through your veins when you know only that single descriptor will do above any other?

Do you obsess about your own?

Have you moaned in need, knowing exactly what you want to say… but it’s just out of reach, on the tip of your tongue, tormenting you with a taste… but not quite gaining substance?

Do you crave them from others?

Have you searched for that secret place of solitude, away from the world, where you can escape for an hour, or two… or many… into a dreamland spun by another?

Do you find yourself addicted?

Have you strived to find that sweet spot of balance and rhythm, a natural ebb and flow, teasing a heart-felt work of art from a cold slab of marble?

Do you long to turn the most mundane into something spectacular?

     … {smiles slowly} ….

To walk into a British car auction, testosterone pinging in the air.

In an arena dominated by wealth, your pulse accelerates as the journey unfolds.

The sensuality… palpable.

Your gaze travels the room until… your breath catches.

She lies there in beautiful repose, the object of your desire.

Exquisite curves beg for your touch.

You lick your lips.

Unbidden, your body leans closer.

The eyes of a voyeur stare deep into her soul.

Bared for you to devour.

You imagine sliding in…

The fit tight… but perfect.

She hugs your body as if the two of you were created together.

Your fingers slide over her soft, supple skin.

A firm grip… takes control.

You swallow hard, slamming zero to sixty in record time.

And still… you push her harder.

She takes everything you have to give her and screams for more.

You shift gears…

She responds… purring…

Faster…

Hotter…

Forcing…

Vibrating…

The auctioneer’s voice over the intercom interrupts the two of you and you snap back to the room. You stare back longingly at her. The moment was shared. The erotic experience happened. The memory, a snapshot forever kept in the album of your mind.

… {inhales deeply} …

Do you have secret liasons with your thesaurus?

Have you squealed in delight when a “word of the day” account followed you on Twitter, following back the decadent account with breathless anticipation of a beautiful relationship?

… {whispers} … I –so- have…

Do you have a love affair with words?

I do…

Your Favorite Shoe,

Kat Bastion

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

The Writer and The Industry – David and Goliath

The Writer and The Industry – David and Goliath

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

This week another deal was struck, causing major ripples with readers, writers, and reviewers. Oh. My.

Penguin’s imprint, Berkley, purchased Sylvain Reynard’s Gabriel’s Inferno series, including a first printing of 500,000 copies of each book, and the purchase of world and audio rights. The deal inked went into seven-figure territory.

Reynard’s writing began as fan fiction. Thousands of readers loved his books enough to rave about them. And they told two friends, and so on. Sound familiar? Fifty Shades ring a bell?

{stands up and applauds the authors} Good for them. I whole-heartedly support the successes of writers in this difficult to break into industry.

What does this amazing deal mean for us writers?

Nothing.

…and everything.

The publishing industry suffered upheaval in the last few years with self-publishing and e-books shaking the brick-and-mortars. Those that rely on the success of the authors don’t take chances. They want dead-ringers. The beast is an animal we wish we could tame. Alas, we cannot.

The formula hasn’t changed for a writer. Write the best story possible. Get the story out to agents and publishers. Catch someone’s eye… and away we go.

Ahhhh… but therein lies the secret of success. We must catch someone’s eye.

What did Sylvain Reynard and E L James do differently than so many others? The Marketing Fanatic in me is fascinated by their stories.

They started small. They used networking, websites, and social media to gain exposure for their work. When support for their writing flooded in from fans, they were encouraged to reach a broader base through publishing.

Isn’t that what we’re all doing?

Are there critics upset about the wild successes of an author’s quick rise to fame? Of course. There will always be naysayers. Debates and discussion are fueled by opposite points of view.

What does all the excitement mean to me?

{smiles wide}

A grass-roots writer rising up into the big time means that the world is filled with possibilities. Starry-eyed writers, working diligently as they spin stories flowing from their hearts, can have their books published and share their dreams with everyone who wants to escape in them.

There is plenty of room in the industry for the big successes. Some are literary masterpieces and some are wildly popular due to their raw cult appeal. Some are game changers.

Reynard and James are not pioneers in breaking out due to their preliminary accomplishments. Amanda Hocking and John Locke are recent indie-author icons. Don’t forget James Redfield who self-published The Celestine Prophecy, selling 100,000 copies from the trunk of his car—and then the publishing world took notice.

It matters not to me the reasons why someone garnered all the successes that came their way. I’m thrilled and motivated by their rags-to-riches fairy tales. My role as a writer, beyond writing the best novel possible, is to support other authors. I celebrate their successes and support their dreams.

They are my successes. They are my dreams.

I am David. The barrier into the industry is my Goliath. All it takes is one small effective stone to bring that giant to its knees.

{looks at the stone sitting on my desk}

…the ripples of casting that stone … go on infinitely.

I look forward to the day when our time comes, my friends.
Keep believing. Keep writing. Keep supporting.

Kat Bastion

© 2012 by Kat Bastion